Metro GM Richard Sarles plan to raise fares to pay for service upgrades has met a surly response from riders.
The Metro board is aware of the mounting customer frustration. In Thursday night’s board meeting, Arlington representative Mary Hynes suggested giving everyday riders something extra, in the form of a monthly fare card.
She explained the proposal to News4: "Regular riders pay a certain amount of money, often pegged to a certain number of trips a month, at a certain price. And then anything they do above that is free."
Hypothetically, if you have a $95 dollar pass and used it up before the end of the month, you could still ride the train for free. The hope is that such a pay structure would encourage people to use the train more, even at times when they normally would not. Riders could jump off the train, run and errand and get back on without having to pay again and again.
"We understand that this isn't as wonderful a ride as it used to be, so lets try to make it a little bit easier," Hynes said. "And perhaps, for the really, really regular rider, less expensive."
The idea is just a proposal now, and a price for the proposed monthly pass has not been set. However, board members are interested, and will explore the option.
If such a plan were approved, it would likely run on the Smartrip Card.